How Can You Murder an Angel?

Paula R. Stern,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Paula R. Stern
Paula R. Stern is CEO and founder of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company offering documentation services and training seminars. She made aliyah in 1993 when her oldest son was 6 years old. In March 2007, Elie entered the Artillery Division of the Israeli army and Paula began writing about her experiences as A Soldier"s Mother. The blog continues as Elie moved on to Reserve Duty, her second son, Shmuel served in Kfir and continues as her youngest son David now serves in Givati. She recently opened a publishing house, helping other authors fulfill their dream to publish. Links to the Author's blogs: * A Soldier"s MotherPaulaSays Israel Blogger...

I think somewhere back in my childhood, I thought angels were these special entities that watched over us. My grandmother on my mother's side was an angel. She died just before I turned five and I've always felt her throughout my life watching and hopefully smiling when I named my first daughter for her. My grandfather on my mother's side died when I was 16, and I've carried him with me since. He promised to take me to Israel...and then died suddenly a few weeks later. I cried, I mourned, and in the years since, have always known that he is one of my guardian angels. Look, Grandpa, I've said many times...look at her...look at him. He was there watching when I married, when my children were born. He was there when we came home to Israel and when my sons came home in uniform. My guardian angels were there with me and my oldest daughter when we went to Poland, where my grandfather was born.

It is an awe-inspiring thing to know you have an angel, many angels on your side and perhaps even more special when you know that beside Hashem, are Moshe Rabbenu, Avraham and Yaakov and Yitzchak...and perhaps even more special because with their presence they bring the love and nurturing that somehow I think women feel more than men, we have Sarah and Rivkah, Leah and Rachel. The list is endless, each name a blessing.

If there is a reason we have survived all these centuries beyond the will of God, I think it is because of our angels more than for any deed we have done or actions we have taken. In almost every generation, we gain more advocates until, I believe, the mere weight of all these angels, will bring the Messiah to us (may it come speedily and in our day!).

How can it fail to bring Moshiach when we have angels like Eyal, Naftali and Gilad? When the Fogels, Ruti and Udi, and their three children stand beside Hashem and pray for us...when Rav Moshe Twersky, Rav Calman Levine, Rav Aryeh Kopinsky, and Rav Avraham Shmuel Goldberg are there?

I've believed in angels always...they whisper in God's ears, sit beside Him. Perhaps, it is with the flick of their fingers, at God's command, that causes the missiles fly off to the west and miss a building full of people. It is our angels that point at the family in the house about to be hit, and God who places the thought that they must leave. We have so so many angels watching over our people.

Despite all those who died in the sanctity of God's name, I still didn't really believe you could murder an angel. Last week, four young men went to a basketball game a short distance away. A fun night with the guys...summer is here after a long and cold winter. They're just at that age - still wanting the night out and already old enough to have some responsibilities that weigh on them enough to need it. And in a split second, it all changed. A Palestinian terrorist opened fire. All four were hit, but one more severely than the others. His name was Malachi Moshe (Malachi means "my angel").

It was announced that he was in "matsav anush." Anush can be translated as "mortally wounded" - it means that the doctors don't really expect the patient to live. Sometimes they do - and know they were blessed with a miracle. There have always been those who defied the doctors' labels because God had a different plan. Perhaps, it was also the angels that reminded Hashem that there was still work for these people to do and so they returned to their families. But matsav anush remains one of the most dreaded words. In some ways, death is easier; at least it is quicker. But "anush" means there is still time for prayer, for the desperate hope that maybe, maybe it will still be okay. And sometimes, the miracle isn't there. Sometimes, God says "no" because He has another reason, another need. God called Malachi to him; He took his angel back.

Malachi was rushed to the hospital by helicopter and the doctors tried to save him. They tried and tried, but Malachi died, murdered by Arab terrorists to honor their holy month of Ramadan. His family was so gracious in their wish to thank the doctors and showed so much of what they instilled in their sons when they asked the people of Israel to unite.

In their mourning, they remind us that there is a reason, there is and always will be, a tomorrow. And though I try to heed their message and remain positive, I can't help the anger that swamps me and the need to thank them and pray for them on one side while thinking of their murderers on the other.

I want to tell these men who are not men, that they can run, they can hide for the rest of their short, miserable lives but the clock is ticking so loudly. And I want them to know that up in the heavens two things are happening. The angels are surrounding Malachi; his brother who died more than 10 years ago is beside him, Avraham and Sarah, Yitzhack and Rivkah, Yakov and Leah and Rachel are there...and the rest of our angels...and even as they surround him, they are helping God direct the hands of our sons here on earth. They light the dark places where these terrorists are hiding; they are showing the tracks our sons need to follow.

The sounds from the heavens is deafening, if you listen for it. More than 6 million hands are pointing. Eyal and Gilad and Naftali are there with Malachi - he will never be alone...and his killers will never know a moment of peace again. Our earth-bound angels will find them with the help of our heavenly angels and most of all, with the help of the Almighty, they will be found. It might take a few hours, days...just know, they'll find the murderers who killed our angel. And when they do, when, not if...when they find them, I will hope that they will be messengers, angels of God.

May God bless the memory of Malachi Moshe and be with him as he takes his place among the angels of Israel to guard his parents and his people from above.

May God avenge his blood and may his killers face the Highest Judge very, very soon. Baruch Dayan Emet - Blessed is the one True Judge.